fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: OFFICE OF THE SENATE HOUSE <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 10:01:42 -0600
OFFICE OF THE SENATE HOUSE
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
(RESOLUTION PANEL ON CONTRACT PAYMENT)
Our Ref: FGN /SNT/STB
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your Contract/
Inheritance File and found out that why you have not received your
payment is because you have not fulfilled the obligations given to you
in respect of your Contract/Inheritance Payment. Secondly, we have been
informed that you are still dealing with the none officials in the bank
all your attempts to secure the release of the fund to you. We wish to
advise you that such an illegal act like this have to stop if you wish
to receive your payment since we have decided to bring a solution to
your problem. Right now we have arranged your payment through our swift
card payment centre Asia pacific, that's latest instruction from the
new president, Aihaji Umar Musa Yar-adua federal republic of Nigeria.
A unique aspect of this donation is that each winner will receive his
or her own ATM card complete with a Personal Identification Number
(PIN). This card can subsequently be taken to any Automatic Teller
Machine (ATM) that accepts MasterCard and/or Cirrus and the amount that
has been won can be withdrawn instrumentally with the maximum of Five
Thousand Dollars per day. The atm card payment centre has been mandated
to issue out $1,500,000.00 as part payment for this fiscal year 2009.
Also your information, you have to stop any further communication with
any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any hitch in receiving your
payment. Note that because of impostors, we hereby issue you our code
of conduct, which is (ATM-112/2008) so you have to indicate this code
when contacting the card centre by using it as your subject. For your
best interest, you are to file in immediate claims upon this notice to
the fiduciary agent allocated to you file. He is going to brief you on
the entails to receive your funds. You are advised to work with his
guideline hence he will ensure your funds is dlivered to you within
7-10 working days upon the receipt of his notification.
kindly find below the contact person:
Mr Richard Mark
Phone: +234 70-5662-5846
Endeavour to contact him with the following information
 Name: ________________________________
 Address: ____________________________
 Age: _________________________________
 Sex: _________________________________
 Telephone: __________________________
 Fax: _________________________________
 Occupation status: __________________
 International passport: __________________
Participants are advised to keep their entry details/information from
the public to avoid fraudulent claim pending. Participant under the age
of 18 is automatically disqualified.
The Senate President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.